|Chartiers-Houston WR Miles Williamson|
Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s rise as a Division II power began with the hiring of Curt Cignetti as head coach.
Cignetti, who served as the wide receivers coach at Alabama under Nick Saban from 2007-11, has the Crimson Hawks on track to compete annually. His mentorship helped guide to a 9-2 overall record and wide receiver Terrill Barnes had a record-setting season.
Cignetti has found a replacement for the 6-3 wide out who caught 63 passes for 1,014 yards and nine touchdowns.
Chartiers-Houston senior Miles Williamson committed to IUP over the weekend after Cignetti and his staff showed interest from the moment they saw his game tape.
“I fell in love with the place,” Williamson said. “I’ve been around the program the past five years with my brother playing at Cal. They showed me so much love. I sent my film to them after the season and they got back to me right away. They fell in love with me right off the bat.”
Williamson opened the eyes of college recruiters after a dominant senior season at the wide receiver position. His combination of size, speed, route running skills and ability to adjust to a pass translated into big numbers for the Buccaneers in his senior season.
Williamson caught 39 passes for 559 yards and nine touchdowns this season and finished his career with 82 receptions for 1,257 yards and 18 touchdowns.
“I think that’s a great move for him,” Chartiers-Houston head coach Terry Fetsko said. “IUP is getting a great receiver. He was always a kid who was a hard worker and had a desire to compete.
He’s going to have a great career there.”
Williamson chose IUP over numerous Division II and Division II programs, with the Crimson Hawks’ coaching staff playing a pivotal role in his decision to sign his letter of intent on Wednesday. Cignetti hired former Pitt star quarterback Rod Rutherford as wide receivers coach. Rutherford played a key role in recruiting Williamson. Williamson saw the impact Cignetti and Rutherford had on Barnes, whose game and build are similar to his. Barnes is expected to sign as an undrafted free agent following May's NFL Draft.
“I’m ready to get back into the weight room and back onto the field when the weather breaks,” Williamson said. “It all fell into place for me.”